Humble McMahan excelling in USHL, scoops up NCAA D-I offer
Shane McMahan has no problem being a role player.
Fortunately for him, that role on the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League has expanded to the point it led to a Division I college commitment to Minnesota State University (WCHA).
“His opportunities have escalated a lot in the past few months here,” said Cary Eades, the Force’s coach and GM. “Colleges value that type of player a lot. He’s no longer just a defensive player, but Shane’s grown as a scorer and an exceptional penalty killer.”
McMahan, who played for JSerra High School, Orange County Hockey Club, the Anaheim Jr. Ducks and the Los Angeles Jr. Kings, did his homework on Minnesota State and liked what he saw.
“We’ve been talking since Bantams,” he said. “It helped knowing California guys were playing there and asking them how they like it. Their style of play fits me.”
Eades said the 6-foot-1, 210-pound McMahan’s progression, as well as his willingness to do whatever he’s asked, has made him a key to the Force’s success.
“We have one of the top two penalty kills in the league, and he’s a big reason why,” Eades said. “He’s great on faceoffs, he’s chipping in offense and he’s like an assistant coach on the ice.”
Eades estimates McMahan will play up to 25 minutes some games because he routinely plays 1:20 of a two-minute penalty kill and is counted upon in every 5-on-5 situation.
“Some kids wouldn’t buy into that – they just want to score,” Eades said. “But he has consistently developed other parts of his game, and I’m biased, but I think he’s one of the best – if not the best – penalty killers in the league.”
McMahan, who said his favorite memories from playing in California included playing a high school championship game at Honda Center and going to USA Hockey Youth Nationals with the Jr. Kings’ 18U AAA team in 2014, takes it in stride.
“I just want to perfect my role and go out and do it,” he said.
Photo/Fargo Force/Joy Photography
— Chris Bayee